Man charged with attacking UTA bus driver, fighting with police officers

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Posted at 8:56 PM, Dec 27, 2022

MILLCREEK, Utah — A man has been charged with attacking a bus driver last week in the Salt Lake area, as well as fighting with police officers and trying to take their guns while they arrested him.

Cameron Michael Ward, age 25, was arrested for the alleged assault on a Utah Transit Authority bus driver on Dec. 20, and prosecutors filed charges Tuesday. The six charges include two first-degree felonies of disarming a police officer, one third-degree felony count of aggravated assault, two misdemeanor counts of assaulting an officer, and one misdemeanor of interfering with an arrest.

According to charging documents, the UTA bus driver pulled into the Millcreek Trax Station parking lot to take a break. When he stepped out of the bus, he said he saw Ward slam his body into an electrical box. Ward then approached the driver and asked him where he was from before attacking him, seemingly out of nowhere.

The driver, Neil Uemura, told FOX 13 News last week that he believed he was targeted for his race. He also told police that he believed this was a hate crime, according to the charging documents.

Ward's attack on Uemura involved punching him several times in the face and head, which knocked him down, then kicking him multiple times. After Uemura stood back up, Ward allegedly hit him again and knocked him to the ground before jumping on top of him and trying to gouge one of his eyes out.

Ward (who is also known as Cameron Hilton, according to court records) then walked away from the scene. He was contacted by a South Salt Lake Police officer, who said Ward was covered in blood, appeared agitated and was yelling about someone. The officer asked Ward why he had blood on his hands, and Ward responded that he "was not bloody and began to ramble as if he was suffering from a drug induced episode," charging documents stated.

When the officer told Ward to sit on the curb, he said Ward refused to do so, then reached for the officer's face. When the officer grabbed his hand, Ward began punching him. The officer took him to the ground and tried to subdue him while waiting for backup. During the altercation, police say Ward grabbed the officer's gun and tried to remove it from the holster. He also allegedly pulled various items from the officer's vest that could be used as weapons.

When additional officers arrived, Ward allegedly kicked one of them and tried to grab another's gun from its holster before finally being handcuffed.

Ward was taken to the hospital to be evaluated and treated before being booked into the Salt Lake County Jail. A judge has ordered that he remain in custody without the option of bail.

This occurred just a few weeks after another UTA bus driver was attacked by an unknown suspect who forced their way onto the bus when the driver stopped at a "stop" sign.